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Your most MacGyver moment?

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  • #16
    Not really Mcgyver, more North Vietnamese. Used to own a demilled pineapple hand grenade. I would pull the pin, stick it in a soup can, mount it behind a tree and run a trip wire across the walkway to my house to catch my friends. Amazing how well it worked, it would sometimes wrap around the leg and make it impossible to run away. I need to get another demilled grenade...

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    • #17
      Driving home from Tampere (city in Finland) and suddenly on the highway the oil lamp lights up, luck of luck just at that time an offramp appears so we don't have to stop at the road side. I drive into an ABC station and I see a big black pool growing under the car. The oil exchange nut has unscrewed (not sufficiently tightened). We ask the ABC people if they do any service but no.

      They say there is a mechanics shop a kilometer away and gives us his number. It's 7pm so it's closed but he is willing to meet us there and fix the car. But how to get there, a little over a kilometer and no oil in the engine and no plug...

      So I look around the car for stuff I can use to improvise a plug and all I find is a roll of masking tape and a plastic single use spoon. I wrap the spoon handle in tape until it's big enough and ram it into the oil drain hole until it looks like friction is holding it in well enough. Then I buy some oil from the ABC store and we drive, very carefully, to the mechanics, who replace it with a real spare plug and top up the oil.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by darryl View Post
        Was out in my old van with a few friends, and we get a flat tire. I had a spare. Keep going- the spare goes flat. We're 40 miles out on a gravel road. So- put the flat on the left front and the boys in the back on the right side- one hanging on the open back door. That was enough to keep the rim off the ground for the long trip back to the main road. Pulled into a gas station, hoping the guy would take pity on us and fix one of the flats. We had no money. We hovered around there for more than an hour before he decided to get rid of us by fixing one of the flats.
        Now THAT is amazing. I'd love to have seen it.

        Funny how this thread is exposing the exotic life many here have lived. I feel inadequate. Then again, that's nothing new 😁.
        Last edited by challenger; 02-12-2021, 09:08 AM.

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        • #19
          Car stories, my Pops had a ford "country squire" station wagon with a 390 in it, he kinda had a lead foot, I remember sitting in the little seats way back and the view was opposite as you would be looking out the back window, the damn thing would seat something like 9 or 12 or something crazy like that, I could hear my Dad say "hang on boys" and punch it and it did set you back - or forward if you were sitting backwards lol (im pretty sure this was the station wagon with the reverse seating in the way far back but we did have a few wagons so don't hold me to that) then after a brief power run he'd say "this engine really answers the call" and tell us how important it was to "blow out the cobwebs once in awhile",,,

          well --- one time the old Squire overheated, and here Dad is - father of 7 boys 1 girl on the side of the road,,, no coolant on board - not even water - but wait a minute --- 7 boys, ------------- story goes, and i was the youngest and too young to remember even if I was on the trip at the time - Im pretty sure I did not have to do it, but yeah Dad told all my older brothers to pee in the radiator of course after things cooled down,,, they all were given a certain amount of privacy --- had to climb up and pee on all fours and came up with enough goods to get the car back home for a well needed water pump replacement and coolant change (that stuff must have stunk)
          I did hear this story told from multiple older brothers so am sure it's true, never really heard Pops talking about it as it was kinda just something that had to be done and he was neither to proud nor ashamed of it...

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          • #20
            Originally posted by aribert View Post
            In fall of '88 I quit work, paid my mortgage and utilities 3 months in advance and went on a bicycle tour of Australia with a side trip to the south island of New Zealand (and a side trip to Maui before Austrailia - rode up to the top of Haleakala on a fully loaded touring bike). This trip (practice retirement) was in celebration of my upcoming 30th birthday.

            After Australia, I flew into Christchurch and set out the next day to cross the Southern Alps and ride down the coast. On the uphill side, a few miles from the pass, my freewheel fails. The pawls were not engaging unless I was able to spin very fast to get the pawls to fling out and then I had to keep a load on the drivetrain otherwise the pawls would disengage. It took me a while to figure all this out and how to slowly coast downhill, spin furiously to engage the pawls, make a quick u-turn and ride uphill with a touring bike with both front and rear panniers; and never pausing to spin the pedals. A bike with about 60 lbs of gear is not very nimble and does not do u-turns very well.

            Somewhere near the pass was a road maintenance yard, gate was open and one person was on duty. I asked to mooch a teaspoon of grease and a nail and also borrowed a large can. I used the nail and a rock to unscrew the retaining ring on the freewheel, the coffee can to corral all the loose ball bearings. The exploratory surgery revealed that both of the springs that push the pawls out to create the ratcheting of the freewheel had failed (they were also rusty looking, I had spent about a week in heavy, daily rains a few weeks earlier in Austrailia). I took a strand out of either a brake or derailleur cable and formed my own springs. Used the grease to retain the ball bearings and reassembled the freewheel.

            The freewheel's ratcheting sound was different than with the original springs but I rode that freewheel over the pass and down to Dunedan (sp?) where my cycling trip ended and a rental car took me back to Christchurch. I continued to ride that field repaired freewheel for a couple more years (but not as a loaded bike). And somewhere down in my basement in one of the boxes of obsolete bike parts, I still have that Sachs freewheel. And the only reason I dared to dismantle the freewheel is that at age 14 I had broken a spoke on a rear wheel and mistakenly dismantled the freewheel while trying to remove the freewheel and at age 29 I knew what to expect when dismantling the freewheel.
            What a great fix, and one that lasted, I did have a freewheel failure but my fix was nothing like yours although it did what was intended and got me home, I never carried any tools either - freewheel totally lunched and would not propel the bike anymore at all,
            I always hate walking a bike - it's like admitting defeat, iv stuffed my tires with grass to avoid walking,
            so what I ended up doing was checking all my spokes for a loose one - and thanks to poor bike maintenance found the loosest spoke that I had a shot at getting it to turn - if you load the bike with body weight the top spokes are actually the ones that take the load and the bottom spokes loosen more, so leaning over and reaching down was the method - and while oscillating and twisting walla got a spoke nipple to unscrew - a strategic spoke that was opposite of freewheel side, then took it out and bent it into an arc so I could go in and engage the largest sprocket on the free-wheel in its holes made for keeping the cluster lighter, once I got into two holes and it came back out the other side I simply wrapped it around a couple/three spokes and then twisted the whole mess together,

            it was a horrible fix --- and I had to keep the peddle pressure bare minimum or I would have ripped right through the couple three other spokes, and it was now effectively a "track bike" which took some getting used to - at first id forget and go to coast and then the wheel would keep driving my legs but also make a god awful sound when the torsion all went the other direction and hearing my poor few drive spokes about to break... but --- took it easy and rode the bike home and it would have been a long walk so it was well worth all the effort and butchery....


            Last edited by A.K. Boomer; 02-12-2021, 10:50 AM.

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            • #21
              Had a car that had an annoying rattle that was quite elusive. Came to find out that someone previously had used a tailpipe clamp that was too large for the OD of the pipe thus the rattle. I didn’t have the right size clamp but, as luck would have it, I found a pair of old connecting rod bearing laying around.You guessed it - the bearings were a perfect fit to tighten up the gap of the too large clamp.
              So now I can claim to have actually supplied & installed the mythical “Muffler Bearings” ;-)

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Robg View Post
                Had a car that had an annoying rattle that was quite elusive. Came to find out that someone previously had used a tailpipe clamp that was too large for the OD of the pipe thus the rattle. I didn’t have the right size clamp but, as luck would have it, I found a pair of old connecting rod bearing laying around.You guessed it - the bearings were a perfect fit to tighten up the gap of the too large clamp.
                So now I can claim to have actually supplied & installed the mythical “Muffler Bearings” ;-)
                lol All's you need now is a story to blend in a Chrome spun weasy cable and a Kanueton derivitator....

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                • #23
                  About 40 years ago in winter the house was getting cold. It had a belt driven furnace blower and the belt broke. Being late Saturday night nothing was open. I found some plastic banding strapping off of a package and put a 6 inch section of it on the belt spanning the break with small wood screws. It lasted through mid day sunday and I made another patch. Monday I got a new belt.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by I make chips View Post
                    About 40 years ago in winter the house was getting cold. It had a belt driven furnace blower and the belt broke.
                    It's no joke when the primary heating source breaks. Last winter, the latch on my 40-year-old woodstove broke while I was refueling. Needless to say, the next day I went to a big box-store and bought one of those much-maligned 110V FCAW welders, and learned myself how to weld!

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                    • #25
                      When I was younger, I did not drive a car. I used motorcycles for all my transportation needs.

                      So one day I'm 100 miles from home attending a company training program that is to last 4 months. I'm staying in a nice resort that gave my team Howard Johnson's rates if we committed to staying 4 months. All goes well till my bike's alternator went dead. I was stranded at the hotel on a Friday evening as everyone else left for the weekend. The program we were taking included some electronics troubleshooting so I had my field kit with me and that included a small, cheap plastic voltmeter.

                      Long story short, I was able to remove the cover over the alternator. With the ohmmeter I located where the winding was shorted and fixed it with a piece of cardboard from pack of matches for a spacer and nail polish that I managed to borrow from the hotel desk clerk to act as lacquer. The fix held for years.

                      Dan
                      At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and left over parts.

                      Location: SF East Bay.

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                      • #26
                        Back in the early 1980s I bought a Sinclair ZX81 computer. If you have never seen one, it is the size of a paperback book and had a flat pressure-sensitive membrane keyboard. A TV was it's display (24x32 characters! Woo Hoo!) and storage was on audio tape.

                        I found that the keyboard was the same matrix as was available for other computer keyboards, so I installed the little motherboard, power supply and tape deck into a fishing tackle box. A thin plywood adapter held the keyboard in place. A custom wiring harness connected everything. The 110 baud acoustically coupled modem was external. It made the computer quite portable and usable.

                        Dan
                        At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and left over parts.

                        Location: SF East Bay.

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                        • #27
                          ^Also had one of those Clive Z80 wonders.It was fun to learn programming on but it became a pain in the ass as the programs I wrote were essentially useless.
                          It languished for years and I eventually tossed it and the cassette recorder out. Shoulda kept it for the novelty factor today.

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                          • #28
                            Around about 1988 I was in California discussing a project with a high tech software company when I heard one of the men complaining that his 'antique' car needed a "two thousand dollar transmission job". I asked what was wrong with the trans and he said it would only drive in low.

                            So we opened the bonnet, sorry, hood and I took a look then cut the rotten end off a vacuum hose and stuck it back on the vacuum modulator thing. Like magic the trans was declared cured!

                            Around about then I heard someone behind me say "He is from Nuu Zeeland, even their women know how to use a welder and mix seement".

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                            • #29
                              I thought this up out of necessity.... and pure cheapness. It's for expanding exhaust tubing. Utilizes evilbay set of 3,expanders that are sposed to be hit with an impact. I have one of these from decades ago.... a US made Lisle. It was always hit of miss and in general,one more reason to go to the "muffler shop". So the Lisle was always pressing on the grey matter whilst coming up with this? This is used with a 10T porta power,pull cylinder.

                              Yes,there are hydraulic expanders you can buy. But the $$$ takes the fun out of it. Further,was watching a video,after making this one... of a Baliegh factory rep "trying" to demo their big floor mounted model. The poor guy was just making a dang mess of it? So,even if I had a 55g piggy bank,that doesn't mean the product works?

                              This expander works so easy,I swear you'll be looking for drops to stick up on there just to watch. It literally was used,and done with complete satisfaction on its first use,5 minutes after clamping it to the press/EW frame. See if the pics work.
                              You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 1 photos.

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                              • #30
                                Here's where it ended up. On the back post. The pump body is screwed down to the lid of the EW accessory box. The whole tool can be moved from it's moorings and under a car in less than 15 seconds.

                                You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 1 photos.

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